Landslide might close part of Pine Hollow Road Extension

| Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

With repairs estimated to cost at least $750,000, North Huntingdon Township officials might consider closing a portion of Pine Hollow Road Extension near the Penn Township border to through traffic.

The road, which provides one of the quickest paths for Level Green residents to cut from Route 130 to Route 993 in North Huntingdon, frequently is a problem because of sliding at the edge of the road near a slope along a creek, officials in both townships said. The boundary line is around the road's intersection with Dales Lane.

Officials already have determined that the ground is moving, North Huntingdon manager John Shepherd said. A geotechnical engineer who is reviewing the potential work of relocating a portion of the road might have a report available for North Huntingdon commissioners later this month, he said.

“We don't think it's in imminent danger of collapsing,” Shepherd said. “If it was, we probably would close it.”

But a long-term closure remains an option if North Huntingdon commissioners determine that the cost of repairing the road is prohibitive. Shepherd contacted Penn Township manager Bruce Light last month to inform him of that possibility.

Light said none of the top officials for the township police department, Level Green Volunteer Fire Department or Penn Township Ambulance are opposed to the prospect of a closure to through traffic. Also, Penn-Trafford School District officials previously changed a bus route to avoid the area, Light said.

However, Penn Township Commissioner Larry Harrison, who lives in Level Green, he said wouldn't want to lose the shortcut.

If Pine Hollow Road Extension were closed, drivers could take Baker School Road to get to Route 993, but an obstructed view prevents them from turning left to head toward Irwin, Harrison said.

“I think, for the whole community, it has the benefits of being a through artery,” he said.

Officials in both townships also said they have not yet spoken with residents about how a potential closure would affect them. Each township has a couple of households near the problem area.

If North Huntingdon officials proceed with a repair, the project wouldn't start for a while. A possible timeline would involve design work in 2014 and repair work in 2015, Shepherd said.

The township also would have to acquire rights of way, he said.

“We're looking at a pretty significant renovation,” Shepherd said.

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